Basketball Coaching Search Other Issues Addressed

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. Due to the unexpected resignation of Dana Altman there have been numerous rumors, innuendos and questions circulating throughout the state.

“In our conversations yesterday, Coach Altman assured me that his decision to remain at Creighton University was based on a personal and a private desire by himself and his family to stay at the university where he has coached for 13 years,” said John A. White, chancellor. “I accepted Coach Altman’s statement to me and later to the media as an accurate reflection of his difficult decision.”

During the conversations Tuesday, it was determined that official notice was received confidentially of results of random drug testing of student-athletes, including basketball players. The random drug testing, which is a normal operating procedure of the athletic department, took place March 27. The results were officially received on March 29, but appropriate personnel did not receive notification until Tuesday.

The athletic department was informed that two basketball players tested positive for substance abuse, specifically marijuana usage. “We have a strict policy in place to address substance abuse,” according to Dr. White. Names of the student-athletes and any additional information are protected under federal privacy laws. (Attached to the press release is the Policy on Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Education and Testing.)

A second issue discussed during the Tuesday conversation between Chancellor White and Coach Altman was the academic record of student-athletes. Currently, one basketball student-athlete is under suspension from team activities due to academic reasons. “Any academically at-risk student is reported immediately to each coach. Subsequently, we monitor the academic performance of these students and hold meetings weekly to evaluate their progress,” according to Dr. White.

“During my conversations with Coach Altman, I told him that we would make any changes he deemed necessary that would enhance the academic standing of our students,” said Dr. White. The University of Arkansas has not had a basketball player academically ineligible for 20 years, according to the sports information department.

Chancellor White and Coach Broyles announced today that they have engaged the services of a search consultant, Parker Executive Search in Atlanta, Ga. The firm will be paid $90,000 plus expenses, which will be paid by the Razorback Foundation Inc. The senior partner of the firm, Dan Parker, will be the lead consultant.

In the interim, Glynn Cyprien, assistant men’s basketball coach, has assumed direction of the men’s basketball program.

Coach Broyles met with members of the men’s basketball team and staff Wednesday afternoon to assure them that the search will move forward quickly. He also expressed appreciation for the support of the players during this transition period, and answered any questions or issues of concern.

B. Alan Sugg, president of the University of Arkansas System, met Wednesday in Fayetteville with Chancellor White and Coach Broyles to discuss the search process and to review all of the issues and concerns raised by the sudden resignation of Coach Altman, and to review the procedure for moving forward.

“I am reassured by today’s briefing from Chancellor White and Coach Broyles, and I am confident about the future of our men’s basketball program. I’m quite certain that we will secure an outstanding coach very soon,” said Dr. Sugg.

Dr. Sugg, along with Dr. White and Coach Broyles, subsequently held a telephone conference call with Stanley Reed, chairman of the University Board of Trustees, to inform him of today’s developments.

“I know this is a difficult time for all Razorback fans and people who love our University,” said Reed. “It is important that we all pull together and work toward the bright future that awaits our men’s basketball program.”

Download: Drug Policy Jan07.pdf